Monday, 9 January 2017

How to Interpret Visual Art

How to Interpret Visual Art

“The most important mechanism  for interpreting visual art is your own eyes and your ability to really see and to really look…..Go, stand in front of the work of art, literally, physically,  look at it. Walk around it, look at its texture, look at its colour…”

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1598)  by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of Madrid.

Here is a short 15 min podcast that I made during a lecture I gave at the IF Project in London on 'how to interpet visual art'

Monday, 31 October 2016

Women on Screen film screening

I have been invited by FiLiArt to curate a screening of films made by women, that explore 'female experience' in all its variety.

6 pm

270 Mare St, London E8 1HE
Stations: Hackney Central, Bethnal Green

COST £7/ concessions £5*

What do we really mean when we say 'I love you'?
What is the meaning of friendship?
How does a guerrilla fighter become a women’s rights activist?
What is it really like to work as a 'glamour model'?

Discover the surprising, moving and inspiring truths of women's experiences at this rare screening event, bringing together the work of some of London's best female filmmakers.
FiLiArt Women on Screen will showcase a selection of films, from documentary to drama, art films to vox pops, the night will expose women’s experience in all its diversity, range and dynamism.
The programme will include short art films by Alice Anderson, Julia Riddiough, Greta Mendez, Annalise Holles and Natalie Smith; also on show will be Shake it Off! a drama by Sian Astor Lewis and character performances by Liberty Antonia Sadler.
Also featuring will be Rozy Sarkis’s feature documentary Image Matters, about the culture of cosmetic surgery in Lebanon, and Elam Forrester’s portrait of Amanda Gonzales, a former guerrilla fighter turned women’s activist in El Salvador.
The screening will conclude with a panel discussion hosted by Gillian McIver, filmmaker (Taking Over the King’s Land, 2014) and author (Art History for Filmmakers, 2016).
The panel will be participatory, featuring  the filmmakers themselves, and inviting the audience to address the shared themes of their work and the challenges of female-led filmmaking.

*  Women on Screen will raise funds for FiLiArt:Refuge, an art exhibition, symposium and workshop to be held at Oxford House from 9-16 December, a fully non-profit venture.

About FiLiArt
Over the last three years, FiLiArt has been London’s only annual exhibition to bring together contemporary feminist art, current activism and academia. Alongside work by established and emerging female artists, we provide a platform for the artistic voices of minority and marginalised women.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Art History and Cinema

I haven't been curating anything lately since I've been very busy completing my new book ART HISTORY FOR FILM MAKERS. It's out from 10 March 2016.

more info

I've been working on it for several years and have been researching the topic for quite some time. The book is about the complex relationship between visual art and cinema.

I'm hoping to curate some exhibitions on the same theme.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Monocle Interview

I was interviewed by Andrew Tuck for Monocle Radio, for the programme

The Urbanist

Here is the link:

Saturday, 7 June 2014


TAKING OVER THE KING'S LAND is a documentary film I made about a site speciifc art project I was involved in curating.

The film is out now and has been to the Sheffield Docfest, the UK's biggest and most important film festival for documentaries, the Portobello Film Festival in London and more.

Arts docs are notoriously difficult to place since many people associate the documentary genre to social issues, or art history. TAKING OVER THE KING'S LAND is a portrait of a an artist, and a quite remarkable project in the world's greatest metropolis. to watch the film

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

What I have Learned

This is the slideshow I developed for the South London Arts Forum (SAF) talk I gave earlier this year. They have made it available as I requested, and so here it is.
It's basically  rundown of what I have learned in a decade o f being an artist and curator. It may be useful to some.
The gist of it is, "you can do it, if you want it badly enough."

above: Just to show how long this art thing has been going on - an Egyptian paint box and brushes! British Museum. Fabulous.

Friday, 7 February 2014

SAF CONFERENCE and beyond ...

Yesterday I went along to the Southwark Arts Forum to take part in their conference THE ART OF MAKING MONEY
It was really interesting and I wanted to share  the list of excellent speakers, together with their websites so you can have a look yourselves:

The Speakers:
  • Alex ChinneckVisual Artist and Designer – His large public work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC and Dezeen Magazine. The London-based artist also runs a successful Furniture Design business..Alex was honest and fun, and his work is AMAZING
  • Lucy Day - Lucy is an independent Art Curator working in partnership with Day + Gluckman curatorial partnership.  She also works as an external consultant for a number of organisations including a-n - the Artists Information Company. Lucy had a lot to say about the great work that A-N does; I'm such  supporter of A-N myself.
  • Johnny Martin FD – Financial Director - is known for his “cool and straight forward approach” and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs nationwide understand business numbers and jargon. Wow, Johnny really cut the crap and made finance seem, well, COMPREHENSIBLE!
  • Gillian McIver - Canadian artist and film maker based in London. Co-founder of the award-winning artist-run organisation Studio75, focusing on curating and creating opportunities for artist development.  Well, that would be me...
  • Victoria SinIllustrator Designer - Sony, Paloma Faith and Vice Magazine amongst the list of clients of this entrepreneurial student, who is regularly commissioned work and sells her art-work online to her strong customer base. Such nice work!
  • Claire Meredith - Speaker, Writer and Coach. She works with individuals who have an ‘itch’ to live in adventure; challenging, encouraging and inspiring them towards their best lives. She regularly presents the fortnightly Creative Hub podcast, Hatch. Claire talked about self-confidence - why we need it and how we can have it.
I can't pretend I could tell everyone how to make money but I hope I told them how to avoid wasting money. In my talk I emphasized that an artist's life plan (I prefer that term instead of "career") is totally individual, but that most things can be done if you set yourself the talk to using your creativity to find a way to do them. Alex's talk pretty much fit with mine in that sense, though his work is very different.
I certainly met some interesting and dynamic folks at the conference; I think SAF are doing a great job.

 windy wet day in Peckham Rye, but totally worth the trek out to get there: